Being business owners ourselves, we want to take time to help our customers get the most out of their work experience. Printit4less is a leading source of HVAC forms, maintenance contracts, business cards & printed supplies. As a result of years of working & helping HVAC contractors, we have gained some valuable insight that we would like to share with you.
Consider these 4 tips for starting your HVAC business before jumping in and acquiring that office space you’ve had your eyes on:
- Get Your License
- Take Business Courses
- Learn How to Give Estimates
- Get a Marketing Plan
Get Your Contractor’s License
A contractor’s license is required to run a HVAC business. Permits will have to be pulled on large jobs, especially commercial ones, and they only hand permits out to those certified to do the job. How to get a contractor’s license varies by state. Some states or cities may require a license number printed on all work order invoice forms.
In order to get your HVAC Contractor’s license you may need:
- Work experience – most states require up to 4 years of journeyman experience.
- Pass the test – the state board of contractors will issue a contractors test for your desired industry
- Apply for the license – once you have your work experience and passed the test, you can then apply for your license
- Pay your fees – because this is the government and nothing is for free here.
This information does vary by state and sometimes by county. For example, there are strict requirements for business forms in the state of Texas. Therefore, all State of Texas business forms must have Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation information printed on them. Check with your state board of licensing in your state for more information.
Take some business courses
You’re starting your own HVAC business so you probably have enough work experience to do ductwork designs in your sleep. But how much business experience do you have?
Once you decide to become your own boss, you will have a whole new set of unfamiliar responsibilities. You will need to learn how to balance books, manage employees and run your own marketing campaigns. You will need to become an expert in laws, taxes, and business insurance. Sounds frightening, doesn’t it?
Don’t let all of the details bog you down. If you’re serious about making a go at this then your determination will see you through. Remember, there will be ups and downs. Taking a few business courses will help you navigate through the pitfalls of owning your own company.
If courses aren’t a viable option, make sure to do your research. Maybe find a mentor who has gone through the process. Websites like SCORE have resources available to small businesses and even business plan templates to get you started. The key to a successful business is a solid business plan.
Learn how to give estimates
Treat your customers fair and they will remain loyal to you. Learn how to properly quote your jobs to where you can make a profit and make those numbers look too good to be true for your clients. Pricing your jobs fairly and delivering premium services will put you a notch above your competition.
All Systems Mechanical has a well reviewed program that shows how to bid on HVAC jobs. Do your research and see if you can benefit from similar programs. There are many tools just at your fingertips that can help you in this new venture. Use them.
Get a marketing plan
Money will be tight at first but unless you announce yourself, there wont be any money coming in at all. Be savvy. Marketing doesn’t have to break the bank and dip into all of that money you’ve hopefully set aside for when things go wrong. However, don’t rely solely on word of mouth. Find out what other advertisers are doing in your area. Learn what works and what doesn’t and most importantly know who your target consumer is.
It’s important to get a logo and create a website and Facebook for your business. Get yourself branded and get your image out there. Having a strong web presence is your gateway to success. Facebook is a good avenue for announcing yourself. Also, don’t underestimate the usefulness of Twitter. Twitter is a great way to engage people and you may find a few with air conditioning problems!
Another viable marketing scheme is business cards. Business cards are still relevant even in this online world. Hand them out. Leave them everywhere. If your first customer loves your work they may hand your business card to a neighbor. Your business card is your lifeline for callbacks and new customers.
In conclusion, starting your own HVAC business will take hard work, education, and planning. This isn’t a decision to rush into. Make sure your business idea meets a need and delivers above and beyond local competitors. Being unique, savvy and dependable is your key to success.